“There is no constant but change.” Heraclitus
Last week, I accepted a job that will begin in the new year. While in many ways, I am grateful for this job, I have felt sad and anxious since accepting it. The sadness, has to do with the non-profit organization I set up last summer. All week, I have been tying off loose ends; telling partners I won’t be able to collaborate on projects; figuring out how to deal with any proposals that get funded; and trying to decide whether I can keep producing newsletters. I feel sad about all the time I spent trying to build the organization. I feel frustrated that I could not get funding for work that is useful and necessary. I feel some sense of failure and grief as I let the dream die.
The anxiety has to do with my daughter. With a 4-hour commute, I won’t be home till 7:00 each night. Some nights, I won’t be home at all because I plan to stay in Toronto one or two nights per week. With my husband away half the time, my daughter will come home to an empty house most nights and will have to stay alone overnight frequently. And we have to figure how she will get to and from her job because she does not drive and bus service is limited. I feel like I am abandoning her. I worry that she is not ready.
So I have been feeling all of this resistance to this new job. Then I watched the show “Being Erica” this week. This is a show about a woman, Erica, who goes to a therapist who uses time travel in his practice. In last week’s episode, the therapist announced that he is ready to retire, and Erica had a flash that signaled that she is ready to be a therapist herself. But they both hesitated; both feeling that she still needs him. By the end of the episode, they both realize that their resistance has more to do with their fear about the next stage in their lives; their resistance to change; than it does about not being ready. A little bit of synchronicity perhaps? Should I be pondering my resistance to this new job? Is my daughter, at 17, really not ready for more freedom, more independence, more responsibility? Or am I just afraid of the next stage in my life; of the change that is inevitable; of a life unencumbered by children; of a life without my children??
“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” The Buddha